Though we don't follow any specific educational philosophy over here, I do love the simplicity and beauty of Waldorf toys - specifically the Grimm Rainbow Blocks. They are just sooooo beautiful. I have coveted them for a long time now, and though I am sure they are incredibly high quality wooden blocks, I just can't bring myself to spend that much money. So I decided to see if I could come up with a DIY version of the rainbow wooden blocks. I am so thrilled with how well they turned out - and our homemade version was just a fraction of the cost - even better. Though I'm sure ours are not quite heirloom quality, they are super vibrant, bright, and fun to build with - so we're very pleased with them. They would make a fabulous homemade gift as well!
S helped me make them (though the process is a little boring - so she only made about 20% of them before opting to color instead).
And they are so fun to build with. I can't get over the gorgeous rainbow colors!
I got to build a little, too.
S and I had fun sorting them into piles by color and then sorting them by hue as well.
To make them is super easy! I first realized you could use liquid watercolors to color wood when I saw Teaching 2 and 3 Year Old's Rainbow Craft Stick Mobiles. I figured if they could make gorgeous craft sticks, they could probably dye wooden blocks. And they totally can! I bought several bags of various sized Unfinished Wood Blocks at our local craft store (Michaels) using coupons and put a small amount of each different color of liquid watercolors in a tray. We dipped each side of the block in the liquid watercolors for 2 seconds, then flipped, and when the entire block was coated, we laid them on some wax paper to dry.
To be on the safe side, we let our blocks dry for a full 24 hours before using them for building. We used a combination of different brands of liquid watercolors, as well as diluted a few colors to get a wide variety of hues of each color. If you do not have liquid watercolors, I suspect some well mixed dilute food coloring would also work (though you may want to wear gloves while dying them). And just a reminder that the dye is not set - so these are not blocks that should be around babies/toddlers who are still mouthing (as the dye may come off in their mouths).